Rod Dreher

I mentioned in the previous post that a foreign correspondent friend had e-mailed to say, worryingly, that the extreme left was gaining credibility in Greece right now, as a result of economic turmoil. Michael Lind now has a piece up talking about how the nationalist right is gaining credibility in many places, in part because of the way the left transformed itself under Clinton and Blair. But this does not mean that the institutional/mainstream right-wing parties will benefit, warns Lind. Excerpt:

Human beings cannot commit suicide twice, but political movements can. At the same time that former parties of the left in Europe and the U.S. were abandoning social democratic statism for celebrations of free-market globalization, progressivism was redefined on both sides of the Atlantic to mean celebration of immigration-increased diversity and the stigmatization of national patriotism as such, and not merely its perverted forms, as racist and fascist. Inasmuch as social democracy in Europe and New Deal liberalism in the U.S. were inherently left-nationalist projects, progressive anti-nationalism marked the final rejection of the mid-century center-left by the progressive champions of the global market of the 1990s and 2000s. But there was a certain logic to the neoliberal position, which is increasingly difficult to distinguish from pure libertarianism: If finance should be deregulated, and trade deregulated, why not deregulate the flow of labor across borders as well? If people are mere factors of production, not members of a cultural nation or citizens of a republic, then patriotism is pointless.

If Lind’s analysis is correct, the move toward a European superstate that seems in the cards after the massive Greek bailout is going to run into a brick wall of nationalism and populism. He calls it “World War IV” not because he thinks there will be an actual shooting war, but he foresees an indefinite trade war between mercantilist blocs.

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